Test of chemicals in body lotion

27. apr 2021

Body lotion may be one of the products you use the most on your skin. See in the test if your body lotion is without perfume and suspected endocrine disruptors.

 

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Test: Chemicals in body lotion
Photo: The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

Test: Many body lotions are good chemical choices

The test from Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals shows that you can easily find body lotions on the Danish market, which are without unwanted chemicals.
24 body lotions receive the best rating in the test. Among other things, they are free of perfume, allergenic preservatives and substances suspected of being endocrine disruptors.

A number of Nordic Ecolabelled products can be found among the products that receive the best rating. See all the tested body lotions at the bottom of this page.

See the body lotions in the test with product pictures and assessments (link to page in Danish)

Unwanted chemicals: Body lotion stays on your skin for a long time

Your skin is in prolonged contact with the ingredients when you apply body lotion on your body. At the same time, you may use body lotion every day and in larger amounts.

The risk of you absorbing unwanted chemicals through the skin is therefore relatively high with body lotions.

With other products such as shampoo and conditioner, for example, you are less exposed to the ingredients because you wash them off quickly.

The cocktail effect: Your total exposure can be problematic

The test contained several body lotion substances that are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. There were ingredients like parabens, BHT, benzyl salicylate and cyclopentasiloxane.

Endocrine disruptors are suspected, among other things, to contribute to reduced sperm quality and early puberty.

The health risk is not linked to the individual body lotion. But your products can contribute to your overall exposure to unwanted chemicals. This is known as the cocktail effect.

Although the individual product itself is safe, it can provide, together with chemicals from indoor climate, food, etc., an overall exposure that can be problematic. It is therefore a good idea to avoid these substances when you can - for example in your body lotion.

See all tests from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

Perfume allergy: Feel free to limit the use of perfume

Perfume can trigger skin allergies. Skin allergy is a lifelong allergy that causes rashes and eczema if you are in contact with a substance to which you have become allergic.

Perfume content therefore triggers an average rating B, in tests from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

You can minimize your risk of getting skin allergies by limiting how much perfume you are in contact with.

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals’ test methods

About the test

The Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has studied the market for body lotion broadly, among other things by visiting shops and websites. We have also investigated which products are popular in the app Kemiluppen.

Based on this research, we have purchased 49 body lotions. We purchased all products in the test from Danish retailers.

The test is a declaration test. This means that we have reviewed the ingredient lists on body lotions to see whether the products declare content of problematic substances. This could be suspected endocrine disruptors, allergenic preservatives, perfumes or environmentally harmful substances.

We have not analyzed the content of the products, nor does the test take into account the amount of the substances included.

We have contacted the people responsible for the products to ensure that the products are current and that the ingredient lists are correct.

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals’ test methods

What we found

The products can be divided into these categories:

  • Best rating: 24 products are free of a number of problematic substances.
  • Average rating: 18 products contain perfumes, allergenic plant extracts and / or substances that may be harmful to the environment.
  • Lowest rating: 7 products contain suspected endocrine disruptors and / or allergenic preservatives.

The test shows findings of these unwanted chemicals:

Benzyl salicylate, which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, has been found in 3 body lotions.

Parabens suspected of being endocrine disruptors have been found in 3 body lotions. 3 with methyl paraben, 2 with propyl paraben and 1 with ethyl paraben.

Cyclopentasiloxane, which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and problematic for the environment, has been found in 2 body lotions.

Cyclohexasiloxane is problematic for the environment. It is found in 1 body lotion.

BHT, which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, has been found in 1 body lotion.

DMDM hydantoin, which is an allergenic preservative, has been found in 2 body lotions that receive the lowest rating.

What the companies say

L'Oréal (La Roche-Posay, Biotherm, Garnier, Lancôme, Kiehl´s)

“We do not agree with the way Kemiluppen works, as it is simply a review of the list of ingredients, where concentration, use etc. are not taken into account.

The ingredient list tells you what ingredients are in the product. It is useful if a consumer cannot tolerate a particular ingredient and therefore needs to avoid it. The ingredient list also states whether the product contains perfume. Thus, a consumer who is allergic to perfume can avoid what he or she is allergic to, while non-allergic consumers' use of perfumed products is usually unproblematic.

Safety assessment of cosmetics takes into account, in a conservative way, exposure to the ingredient from other cosmetic products and is performed with a large safety margin, so that it is safe to use the products even if there is exposure from other sources. ”